Nov. 4, 1998
By Brian Remsberg,
Purdue Athletic Public Relations Student Assistant
Junior strong safety Adrian Beasley has become a solid contributor in the Purdue secondary. Beasley has started the last 20 games for the Boilermakers, dating to the second game of the 1997 season.
Beasley replaced senior Billy Gustin after the first game of last season when Gustin broke his collarbone against Toledo, and he's been there ever since. Gustin, now fully recovered, is the starter at free safety, giving Purdue one of the best defensive backfields in the Big Ten Conference. Purdue's passing defense is giving up only 176.2 yards per game, third best in the conference. As for Beasley, he is the team's second-leading tackler with 47, to go with one interception and four pass breakups. When asked about being the team's No. 2 tackler while playing in the secondary, Beasley says, "I love to play the run, running and hustling to the ball. I would love to be the leading tackler but Willie (Fells) doesn't leave too many for me."
Beasley has a chance to get even with Fells in another type of competition, bass fishing. "I'm the best fisherman on the team," Beasley says jokingly. "I love to fish in the morning, late at night, whenever I can." Beasley says some of his other fishing buddies on the team include senior Lee Johnson and junior Mike Hawthorne.
Perhaps the biggest play in Beasley's career to this point at Purdue was his 43-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and 21-10 lead against Notre Dame last season. It quite possibly was the biggest play of the year for the Boilermakers, giving them an insurmountable lead and the confidence they needed to win and go on to a 9-3 record. "I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and scooped the ball up and made the touchdown," Beasley says. "That was the biggest highlight of my football career. As a kid everybody dreams about playing against or going to Notre Dame."
Big-play Beasley didn't stop there, as he went on to be named the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the Alamo Bowl after coming up with two interceptions. The Boilermakers finished off their storybook season with a 33-20 win over Oklahoma State.
Beasley came to Purdue from Atlanta, where he attended Douglass High School. He was a high school teammate of fellow Boilermaker Noble Jones. "We chose to come here to Purdue together, we both were recruited by some of the same schools," Beasley says. Beasley was also a member of Douglas' state championship track team as a performer in the 110-meter high hurdles.
An early highlight for Bealey was being named MVP of the Pop Warner football national championship game. "We were on Nickelodeon and I had two rushing touchdowns in the game," Beasley says. "It was pretty neat."
An industrial technology major, Beasley would like to manage a large company in the future. The only limit he would place on his future would be geographical. "I'd like to be somewhere in the southeast, where it's a lot warmer," Beasley says. "I'm starting to get used to the cold weather, but I still prefer the south."
Beasley and the Boilermakers look ahead to this weekend's game as they make a run for a second straight bowl appearance. "We feel confident we can win our last three games, so we are going to try to focus and take them one at a time," Beasley says. The first step is this Saturday at Northwestern. Look for "Big-play Beasley" to step up with some key plays in the Purdue secondary.